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        I shot up from my seat. Did I hear him correctly? I couldn’t have. “Excuse me?” I questioned, baffled, “Did I hear you correctly, sir?”

Derek smirked as he slowly stood up from his seat and made his way over to me, his six-foot body, towering above me, “Yes Zoe, you did.”

I shook my head, “Mister Holland, I don’t understand. Why can’t you j-just, I don’t know, break in and steal the formula or something? Something that doesn’t involve killing someone?”

Mister Holland turned around, his back to me, as he looked out at the view of New York City, “I thought about that yes, but Tanner could easily replicate the formula from memory,” he began, “However, if someone were to kill him, he wouldn’t be able to replicate it. Problem solved.”

I shut my eyes. I couldn’t believe my ears, “And what happens if I say no?” I asked, my voice straining, as my throat burned.

“Well let’s just say you would be passing up a great opportunity.”

I scoffed, “Yeah ‘cause I really wanted to go out and take someone’s life.”

“Well let me see if this changes your mind,” he said as he turned around again to face me, “I am willing to pay you twenty-thousand dollars if you kill Tanner. I’ll also give you a $5,000 raise once the job is done; money is no object.”

My jaw dropped and my eyes widened. Derek saw this and smirked. My legs suddenly felt weak and I couldn’t stand for any longer. I sat back down on the seat in front of the desk. “Mister Holland, I don’t even know how to shoot a gun let alone hold one.” I started, “Why me?”

“Because I know you can’t say no to the money.”

He was right about that, “Mister Holland-Derek, I’m sorry, but I can’t do it.”

Derek turned around, “If you want to keep your job, you’ll do this,” his voice getting louder and louder.

I flinched and shut my eyes, “I’ll do it,” my voice barely a whisper.

As I opened my eyes, I saw Derek smiling, “Good to hear.”

“I don’t know anything about killing someone, Derek.”

“That’s why I’ll teach you. I’ll train you.”

My eyes widened, “Train?”

“Yes, we’ll start tomorrow night,” he began, “But for tonight, go home and get some sleep. You look like you could use it.”

I got up and grabbed my bag from the floor. I slowly walked out the door, my knees feeling as if they would give out at any moment. I walked out of Derek’s office and made my way over to the elevator. Did I really just accept an offer to kill someone?

I clicked the down arrow and waited for the elevator to come. I felt dizzy and sick, like I could throw up at any moment. The elevator dinged, doors opened and I stepped in. I turned around and watched as the doors closed. I took a deep breath.

You need the money. I tried to reason with myself. You’ll be fine. You can do this.

I can do this.

I’m going to kill Alex Tanner.

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